OSLO Dec 21 Norway's $685 billion sovereign
wealth fund will be allowed to buy real estate outside Europe
from next month, giving it a long-sought mandate to buy
property in the United States, the country's finance ministry
said on Friday.
"The finance ministry wants to expand the fund's land
distribution and it's prudent to include new countries," it said
in a statement. "On advice from Norges Bank, the ministry has
now adjusted its mandate to open up for investments in other
parts of the world."
The world's biggest sovereign wealth fund is a relative
newcomer to the real estate market and has mostly invested in
office and retail space in European capitals.
However, it is speeding up investments as it gains the
critical expertise and announced a 1.2 billion-euro ($1.59
billion) deal on Thursday to buy a commercial property portfolio
in a joint venture with Prologis.
The fund, which invests Norway's surplus oil and gas
revenues, has been advocating a broader real estate mandate and
singled out the United States as a target for further
At the end of the third quarter it held less than 1 percent
of its assets in real estate, below a 5 percent goal, and
predicted it would take years before it would reach the planned
The fund is forecast to grow to $1.1 trillion by 2020,
indicating it could hold $55 billion in real estate by then.